‘Kabul Express’, directed by then debutant Kabir Khan, had graced the Indian theaters way back by the fourth quarter of 2006 and it was indeed a film I have had enjoyed because it was an out-of-the-box, Songless, gutsy & with experimental narration (much above the standard set by the production banner YRF ). I have no clue how did it fare in the Box-Office counter and that’s not my area of concern to be honest.
Suhel Khan (John Abraham)& Jai Kapoor (Arshad Warsi), Journalist and cameraman respectively, lands on the soil of war-torn Afghanistan to create a report on the aftermath of US invasion post 9/11 for their news channel.
Their journey hits a roadblock when their tour car is hijacked by dreaded Taliban Official Imran Khan Afridi armed with rifle (Salman Shahid), thereafter, onsets their expedition to the bylanes of the world’s most dangerous war zone and suddenly find themselves shocked and terrified by the heart-breaking fate of the country.
Firstly, Kabul Express is a visually spectacular film, Cinematographer Anshuman Mahaley encapsulate the massively mountainous war-zone in his lens deftly. Whether is it a dilapidated Hotel Kabul or A limp local boy who desires to have a push-up, a destroyed war tank deserted on the periphery of the scorching afternoon desert to women population ‘wrapped’ with blue burqa and bond with suffocating rules imposed, Every scene illustrates Afghanistan where hope fails to stay alive for longer time, soon fades with the sunset, giving way for darkness to rule.
It’s peppered heavily with humor and for that credit goes to Arshad Warsi, who is spectacular from the one go. He delivers punch lines one after the other, sarcastically taking potshots at the rigid and annoyingly weird cultural operation followed by the locals. They involve in inter-cultural conversations that strikingly gives us lighter moments to relish from drawing comparisons between Imran Khan-Kapil Dev to Expressing admiration for Madhuri Dixit – or – Talib humming Indian melodies much to hostage’s surprise to political squabble between the Afghani driver and Talib in the context of emerging Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
On the Serious note, Kabir Khan maintains a certain ambiguity regarding the terror war and the controversial yet sensitive climatic conclusion might be too far to be handled by many who aren’t willing to alter their perception one step ahead.
I can confidently say that Kabul Express must’ve been watched by very people, hence I would strongly recommend you all to watch it at least once to see the real and wrecking canvas of Afghanistan by the terror rampage, Stunning performances from Arshad Warsi, Salman Shahid (who went to be the part of delicious Ishqiya Franchise as amusingly creepy boss Mustaq) and Hanif Humghum and moreover for the intention and the message the films tries to convey.